By: Leora Winter

Fall is approaching, and you know what that means. It’s pumpkin spice latte (PSL) season and time to break out the flannels and UGG boots. (We’ll ignore the fact that Georgia is still having weather in the 80s).

To start, I have to say that pumpkin spice is not my favorite. I’m more of a peanut butter or chocolate girl when it comes to coffee. However, PSLs are popular, and as a coffee lover, I wanted to find out which local coffee shops have the best, so I went around town, ordered a small hot Pumpkin Latte from each coffee shop, and rated them for you.

 

Barrel House Coffee Co.

Barrel House Coffee. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

The first coffee shop stop on my list was Barrel House Coffee Co. in downtown Ball Ground, 16.4 miles away from Reinhardt University, making for about a 20-minute drive.

The atmosphere at Barrel House is pleasant. The veteran-owned coffee shop has a rustic, hometown feel with friendly baristas and indoor and outdoor seating. They even have a comfy couch and a large conference table inside. The relaxing music and free Wi-Fi make for a great study spot, especially during the week when business is a little slower.

Now onto the highlight of my visit: the pumpkin spice latte!

 

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte, Barrel-Aged:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Rating: 8/10
Price: $5.03 (42 cents per oz)
Size: 12 oz
Taste: Wonderful and just sweet enough. The flavor was not too strong, even though the baristas added whipped cream and cinnamon on top. I requested my drink with barrel-aged coffee. Barrel House specializes in roasting their coffee beans in old bourbon barrels. It makes for an extra unique coffee flavor.

(If you decide to go visit Barrel House, my boyfriend works there. His name is Kevin 😊)

Carrington Coffee Company 

Carrington Coffee Company. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Next on my list is Carrington Coffee Company in Jasper, GA. It’s 15.4 miles away from Reinhardt, which is an 18-minute drive. I love Carrington; however, they are only open for drive-through, and that’s a bit of a turnoff for me. I like to go inside coffee shops and enjoy my drink. Carrington’s frozen coffees are my favorite, but their hot PSL was pretty yummy, too.

 

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

Rating: 6/10
Price: $4.06 (34 cents per oz)
Size: 12 oz
Taste: Subtle. It was rich, hearty, and almost had an earthy flavor. I could also see where the baristas put actual pumpkin spice in the drink. It was not super sweet, but it is a good choice for people like my mom, who prefer things less sweet.

 

 

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Dunkin’ Donuts has two locations. One is in Canton, and one is in Jasper. The one in Canton is a 10-minute (7.2 miles) drive from Reinhardt, and the one in Jasper is an 18-minute (15.3-miles) drive. I prefer going to the one in Jasper because it is cleaner, and they seem to fill orders more efficiently than the Canton location. Both coffee shops have a drive-through and indoor/outdoor seating. The seating in Jasper is much nicer, though.

 

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Rating: 6.5/10
Price: $3.52 (44 cents per oz)
Size: 8 oz
Taste: If you like pumpkin, this SCREAMS pumpkin. The drink had a strong flavor, but it was way too sweet for me.

Bizarre Coffee

Bizarre Coffee. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Located in downtown Canton, Bizarre Coffee is a 12-minute, 7.8 miles drive from campus. Most of the local coffee shops are rustic, but Bizarre has a very unique atmosphere.  It has an artsy, modern vibe and really distinctive and creative coffees. Some of their most exciting flavors are guava, pistachio, and spicy mocha. Bizarre also has indoor and outdoor seating.

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Rating: 5/10
Price: $4.40 (37 cents per oz)
Size: 12 oz
Taste: Good, but it lacked pumpkin spice flavor. Personally, I prefer Bizarre’s iced drinks. Their iced drinks have more flavor than the hot ones. The barista made a pretty latte art design on my drink, so this latte was the prettiest drink on this list.

 

 

Starbucks

Starbuck. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Next on the list is the OG pumpkin spice queen, Starbucks. I visited the Canton store located  7.7 miles and 12-minutes away from Reinhardt. This location only offers outdoor seating right now.

 

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

Rating: 7/10
Price: $5.14 (43 cents per oz)
Size: 12 oz
Taste: The most authentic pumpkin spice flavor but a little too sweet. It had whipped cream on top.

 

 

JAX Coffee Company

JAX Coffee Company. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

I saved the best for last! JAX Coffee Company in Jasper has the best PSL in the area.

JAX is a 15-minute drive from Reinhardt and 12.8 miles away off Hwy 515, next to Rocco’s Pub. They have lots of nice indoor seating and some outdoor seating. JAX also has storytimes during the week for kids and open mic nights sometimes. They even host live music twice a month.

Small Hot Pumpkin Latte:

Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

Rating: 9/10
Price: $5.08 (32 cents per oz)
Size: 16 oz
Taste: The drink was definitely my favorite out of the others on this list. It did not have too much spice, but it also wasn’t too sweet either. It was perfectly balanced and perfectly fall.

I gave JAX the best rating on taste, and it was also the best price per ounce.

White Tail Coffee Company

White Tail Coffee Company. Photo Credit: Leora Winter

 

I tried to get a PSL from White Tail Coffee Company in Canton, but their pumpkin syrup wasn’t coming in until the next day. However, White Tail’s atmosphere is really relaxed, and I definitely recommend checking them out. They are very sleek and modern. When I went there, they had just opened, and I got to chat with the owner Shaune for a few minutes. He was friendly.

Whitetail is located at The Mill on Etowah, 7.7 miles and 12-minutes from Reinhardt. They are right next to Giggle Monsters Craft Donuts, too! They also have indoor and outdoor seating.

Stay tuned for my next review of The Copper Coin in downtown Woodstock, Alma Coffee in Canton, and Red Bean Harvest Coffee in Jasper.

I hope you will go visit some of these local coffee shops and give them some love. I also hope you have a great fall season. Let us know where your favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte is from!

 


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